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Loss-of-control (LOC) eating commonly develops during adolescence, and it predicts full-syndrome eating disorders and excess weight gain. Although negative emotions and emotion dysregulation are hypothesized to precede and predict LOC eating, they are rarely examined outside the self-report domain. Autonomic indices, including heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV), may provide information about stress and capacity for emotion regulation in response to stress.
We studied whether autonomic indices predict LOC eating in real-time in adolescents with LOC eating and body mass index (BMI) ⩾70th percentile. Twenty-four adolescents aged 12–18 (67% female; BMI percentile mean ± standard deviation = 92.6 ± 9.4) who reported at least twice-monthly LOC episodes wore biosensors to monitor HR, HRV, and physical activity for 1 week. They reported their degree of LOC after all eating episodes on a visual analog scale (0–100) using a smartphone.
Adjusting for physical activity and time of day, higher HR and lower HRV predicted higher self-reported LOC after eating. Parsing between- and within-subjects effects, there was a significant, positive, within-subjects association between pre-meal HR and post-meal LOC rating. However, there was no significant within-subjects effect for HRV, nor were there between-subjects effects for either electrophysiologic variable.
Findings suggest that autonomic indices may either be a marker of risk for subsequent LOC eating or contribute to LOC eating. Linking physiological markers with behavior in the natural environment can improve knowledge of illness mechanisms and provide new avenues for intervention.
Eating disorders (EDs) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur and can share a functional relationship. The primary aim of this initial randomized controlled trial was to determine whether integrated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for co-occurring ED-PTSD was superior to standard CBT for ED in improving PTSD symptoms. Intervention safety and desirability, as well as the relative efficacy of the treatments in improving anxiety, depression, and ED symptomatology, were also examined.
Following a course of intensive ED treatment, individuals with ED-PTSD were recruited to participate and randomized to integrated CBT for ED-PTSD or standard CBT for ED. The sample consisted of 42 individuals with a range of ED diagnoses. Outcomes were assessed at end-of-treatment, 3-, and 6-month follow-up using interview and self-report measures.
Mixed models revealed significant interactions of time and therapy condition on clinician-rated and self-reported PTSD symptom severity favoring Integrated CBT for ED-PTSD. Both treatments were associated with statistically significant improvements in PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Improvements were maintained at 3- and 6-month follow-up. There was good safety with both interventions, and satisfaction with both treatments was high. However, there was a stronger preference for integrated treatment.
Integrating CBTs for PTSD and ED following intensive ED treatment is safe, desirable, and efficacious for improving PTSD symptoms. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to determine whether Integrated CBT for ED-PTSD provides benefits over standard CBT for ED with respect to ED outcomes.
Family-based treatment (FBT) is an efficacious intervention for adolescents with an eating disorder. Evaluated to a lesser degree among adolescents, enhanced cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT-E) has shown promising results. This study compared the relative effectiveness of FBT and CBT-E, and as per manualized CBT-E, the sample was divided into a lower weight [<90% median body mass index (mBMI)], and higher weight cohort (⩾90%mBMI).
Participants (N = 97) aged 12–18 years, with a DSM-5 eating disorder diagnosis (largely restrictive, excluding Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder), and their parents, chose between FBT and CBT-E. Assessments were administered at baseline, end-of-treatment (EOT), and follow-up (6 and 12 months). Treatment comprised of 20 sessions over 6 months, except for the lower weight cohort where CBT-E comprised 40 sessions over 9–12 months. Primary outcomes were slope of weight gain and change in Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) Global Score at EOT.
Slope of weight gain at EOT was significantly higher for FBT than for CBT-E (lower weight, est. = 0.597, s.e. = 0.096, p < 0.001; higher weight, est. = 0.495, s.e. = 0.83, p < 0.001), but not at follow-up. There were no differences in the EDE Global Score or most secondary outcome measures at any time-point. Several baseline variables emerged as potential treatment effect moderators at EOT. Choosing between FBT and CBT-E resulted in older and less well participants opting for CBT-E.
Results underscore the efficiency of FBT to facilitate weight gain among underweight adolescents. FBT and CBT-E achieved similar outcomes in other domains assessed, making CBT-E a viable treatment for adolescents with an eating disorder.
While negative affect reliably predicts binge eating, it is unknown how this association may decrease or ‘de-couple’ during treatment for binge eating disorder (BED), whether such change is greater in treatments targeting emotion regulation, or how such change predicts outcome. This study utilized multi-wave ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to assess changes in the momentary association between negative affect and subsequent binge-eating symptoms during Integrative Cognitive Affective Therapy (ICAT-BED) and Cognitive Behavior Therapy Guided Self-Help (CBTgsh). It was predicted that there would be stronger de-coupling effects in ICAT-BED compared to CBTgsh given the focus on emotion regulation skills in ICAT-BED and that greater de-coupling would predict outcomes.
Adults with BED were randomized to ICAT-BED or CBTgsh and completed 1-week EMA protocols and the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) at pre-treatment, end-of-treatment, and 6-month follow-up (final N = 78). De-coupling was operationalized as a change in momentary associations between negative affect and binge-eating symptoms from pre-treatment to end-of-treatment.
There was a significant de-coupling effect at follow-up but not end-of-treatment, and de-coupling did not differ between ICAT-BED and CBTgsh. Less de-coupling was associated with higher end-of-treatment EDE global scores at end-of-treatment and higher binge frequency at follow-up.
Both ICAT-BED and CBTgsh were associated with de-coupling of momentary negative affect and binge-eating symptoms, which in turn relate to cognitive and behavioral treatment outcomes. Future research is warranted to identify differential mechanisms of change across ICAT-BED and CBTgsh. Results also highlight the importance of developing momentary interventions to more effectively de-couple negative affect and binge eating.
This is a secondary analysis of clinical trial data collected in 12 European countries. We examined changes in weight and weight-related quality of life among community patients with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole (ARI) versus standard of care (SOC), consisting of other marketed atypical antipsychotics (olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone).
Five-hundred and fifty-five patients whose clinical symptoms were not optimally controlled and/or experienced tolerability problems with current medication were randomized to ARI (10–30 mg/day) or SOC. Weight and weight-related quality of life (using the IWQOL-Lite) were assessed at baseline, and weeks 8, 18 and 26. Random regression analysis across all time points using all available data was used to compare groups on changes in weight and IWQOL-Lite. Meaningful change from baseline was also assessed.
Participants were 59.7% male, with a mean age of 38.5 years (SD 10.9) and mean baseline body mass index of 27.2 (SD 5.1). ARI participants lost an average of 1.7% of baseline weight in comparison to a gain of 2.1% by SOC participants (p < 0.0001) at 26 weeks. ARI participants experienced significantly greater increases in physical function, self-esteem, sexual life, and IWQOL-Lite total score. At 26 weeks, 20.7% of ARI participants experienced meaningful improvements in IWQOL-Lite score, versus 13.5% of SOC participants. A clinically meaningful change in weight was also associated with a meaningful change in quality of life (p < 0.001). A potential limitation of this study was its funding by a pharmaceutical company.
Compared to standard of care, patients with schizophrenia treated with aripiprazole experienced decreased weight and improved weight-related quality of life over 26 weeks. These changes were both statistically and clinically significant.
The DSM-5 introduced purging disorder (PD) as an other specified feeding or eating disorder characterized by recurrent purging in the absence of binge eating. The current study sought to describe the long-term outcome of PD and to examine predictors of outcome.
Women (N = 84) who met research criteria for PD completed a comprehensive battery of baseline interview and questionnaire assessments. At an average of 10.24 (3.81) years follow-up, available records indicated all women were living, and over 95% were successfully located (n = 80) while over two-thirds (n = 58) completed follow-up assessments. Eating disorder status, full recovery status, and level of eating pathology were examined as outcomes. Severity and comorbidity indicators were tested as predictors of outcome.
Although women experienced a clinically significant reduction in global eating pathology, 58% continued to meet criteria for a DSM-5 eating disorder at follow-up. Only 30% met established criteria for a full recovery. Women reported significant decreases in purging frequency, weight and shape concerns, and cognitive restraint, but did not report significant decreases in depressive and anxiety symptoms. Quality of life was impaired in the physical, psychological, and social domains. More severe weight and shape concerns at baseline predicted meeting criteria for an eating disorder at follow-up. Other baseline severity indicators and comorbidity did not predict the outcome.
Results highlight the severity and chronicity of PD as a clinically significant eating disorder. Future work should examine maintenance factors to better adapt treatments for PD.
Outpatient interventions for adult anorexia nervosa typically have a modest impact on weight and eating disorder symptomatology. This study examined whether adding a brief online intervention focused on enhancing motivation to change and the development of a recovery identity (RecoveryMANTRA) would improve outcomes in adults with anorexia nervosa.
Participants with anorexia nervosa (n = 187) were recruited from 22 eating disorder outpatient services throughout the UK. They were randomised to receiving RecoveryMANTRA in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 99; experimental group) or TAU only (n = 88; control group). Outcomes were measured at end-of-intervention (6 weeks), 6 and 12 months.
Adherence rates to RecoveryMANTRA were 83% for the online guidance sessions and 77% for the use of self-help materials (workbook and/or short video clips). Group differences in body mass index at 6 weeks (primary outcome) were not significant. Group differences in eating disorder symptoms, psychological wellbeing and work and social adjustment (at 6 weeks and at follow-up) were not significant, except for a trend-level greater reduction in anxiety at 6 weeks in the RecoveryMANTRA group (p = 0.06). However, the RecoveryMANTRA group had significantly higher levels of confidence in own ability to change (p = 0.02) and alliance with the therapist at the outpatient service (p = 0.005) compared to the control group at 6 weeks.
Augmenting outpatient treatment for adult anorexia nervosa with a focus on recovery and motivation produced short-term reductions in anxiety and increased confidence to change and therapeutic alliance.
Network analysis is an emerging approach in the study of psychopathology, yet few applications have been seen in eating disorders (EDs). Furthermore, little research exists regarding changes in network strength after interventions. Therefore the present study examined the network structures of ED and co-occurring depression and anxiety symptoms before and after treatment for EDs.
Participants from residential or partial hospital ED treatment programs (N = 446) completed assessments upon admission and discharge. Networks were estimated using regularized Graphical Gaussian Models using 38 items from the Eating Disorders Examination-Questionnaire, Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
ED symptoms with high centrality indices included a desire to lose weight, guilt about eating, shape overvaluation, and wanting an empty stomach, while restlessness, self-esteem, lack of energy, and feeling overwhelmed bridged ED to depression and anxiety symptoms. Comparisons between admission and discharge networks indicated the global network strength did not change significantly, though symptom severity decreased. Participants with denser networks at admission evidenced less change in ED symptomatology during treatment.
Findings suggest that symptoms related to shape and weight concerns and guilt are central ED symptoms, while physical symptoms, self-esteem, and feeling overwhelmed are links that may underlie comorbidities in EDs. Results provided some support for the validity of network approaches, in that admission networks conveyed prognostic information. However, the lack of correspondence between symptom reduction and change in network strength indicates that future research is needed to examine network dynamics in the context of intervention and relapse prevention.
This short-term, open-label study investigates short- and long-term effects of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluvoxamine for the treatment of trichotillomania (TTM). Additionally, this study aimed to test the hypothesis that the presence of hair pulling compulsiveness is predictive of SSRI response. Nineteen subjects meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition Revised, (DSM-III-R) criteria for TTM were treated with fluvoxamine at doses up to 300 mg/day. Random regression analysis of change across time for patients who completed the study (n=14) and those who dropped out (n=5) revealed statistically significant improvements in Physician Rating Scale, hair-pulling episodes, Trichotillomania Impairment Scale, and Trichotillomania Symptom Severity Scale, but not in estimated amount of hair pulled. In addition, the percentage of patients' focused or compulsive hair-pulling symptoms was predictive of treatment response. Unfortunately, all three subjects who entered long-term treatment displayed substantial movement back toward baseline by the end of 6 months. We concluded that fluvoxamine produces moderate reductions in symptoms during the short-term treatment of TTM and that the presence of focused or compulsive hair pulling may be predictive of treatment response. However, responses may be short lived when treatment is extended.
Background. There is empirical evidence suggesting that individuals with bulimia nervosa vary considerably in terms of psychiatric co-morbidity and personality functioning. In this study, latent profile analysis was used to attempt to identify clusters of bulimic subjects based on psychiatric co-morbidity and personality.
Method. A total of 178 women with bulimia nervosa or a subclinical variant of bulimia nervosa completed a series of self-report inventories of co-morbid psychopathology and personality, and also provided a buccal smear sample for genetic analyses.
Results. Three clusters of bulimic women were identified: an affective-perfectionistic cluster, an impulsive cluster, and a low co-morbid psychopathology cluster. The clusters showed expected differences on external validation tests with both personality and eating-disorder measures. The impulsive cluster showed the highest elevations on dissocial behavior and the lowest scores on compulsivity, while the affective-perfectionistic cluster showed the highest levels of eating-disorder symptoms. The clusters did not differ on genetic variations of the serotonin transporter gene.
Conclusions. This study corroborates previous findings suggesting that the bulimia nervosa diagnostic category is comprised of three classes of individuals based on co-morbid psychopathology and personality. These differences may have significant etiological and treatment implications.
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